Stuff I hate about playing in bars…

  1. People stop caring that you’re there after roughly song #4. Guess the beer becomes their main focus or something.
  2. The drunk guys who aren’t just a little drunk…they’re so drunk they’re ready to fight the bartender for calling “last call” and also want to fight anyone who doesn’t “have their back.” These are usually the guys who’re not going to remember talking to you the next morning. They’re typically tiny, balding dudes who could easily be KILLED in a fight with a five-year-old girl–and if there were any justice they WOULD be. Frequently chauvinists. Often racists. Always drinking domestic, cheap, watery beers that have no taste. Somehow they’re drunk after TWO, but they drink twelve… They think that everyone’s remarkably interested in everything they say, so they’re going to say it as loudly as possible whether you’re in the middle of a sentence of your own or not. (Also, what they’re saying is NEVER interesting.) Those guys… Hate ’em. Every now and again, I dream of just smashing one of their heads through the bar and leaving them there…and I don’t even feel bad about thinking that… I’m not sure I’d even feel bad if I DID it.
  3. Making small talk with people I’ve never met, who I’ll never see again, but who for some reason think I will be fascinated to know where they’re from and how long they’ve lived in St. Louis. (This scenario usually ends with the phrase, “Oh, and this is my husband…” thereby ruining any interest that MAY have existed at the start of the whole thing.)
  4. When the bar charges the band for drinks…especially if they charge FULL PRICE. (ATTN: Bar owners…we’re on the same side…how about a free f***ing Coke???)
  5. Getting stuck with the tab because everyone else already left.
  6. Drunk, loud women. Usually prime candidates to grab your microphone and insist that they know all the words to “Brown Eyed Girl,” but all they know is the “Sha-la-la” part, and they can’t even sing THAT in key.
  7. The overwhelming urge to shower immediately upon getting home. This is usually preceded by having gone into the bar’s bathroom.
  8. Jukeboxes.
  9. TVs with the whatever the big game of the night is playing on them…for some reason every bar in the world leaves them on while the band is playing…and for some reason, even though they can still see it, there are still people that somehow think the BAND is ruining THEIR evening by playing while the game is on.
  10. Owners who tell you you’re too loud after you’ve FINISHED playing.
  11. Owners who expect you to pack the bar with YOUR friends and family…for some reason, just keeping the people who’re the regular crowd isn’t enough. Like my friends are going to drive to a shit-hole bar that’s a half-hour away when they can easily go to the one near their house…or better yet, have some kind of life that doesn’t have dim lighting and crappy chicken wings.
  12. Just BEING in a bar… If I want a beer, I can buy a six-pack for the price of ONE in a bar…and I can enjoy better company, too.
  13. People who get pissed off when you don’t know the obscure song they’re asking you to play…like you were somehow wrong by learning the other 50 that ARE on your playlist. (Usually a Skynard or Stevie-Ray song…occasionally 38 Special.)
  14. People who ask me what my day job is…
  15. People who think I don’t HAVE a day job.
  16. The drunks who insist on dancing to some song in your third set, who inevitably fall over and land either on your gear, or dangerously close to YOU, and then get up and keep trying to dance.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what’s GOOD about it… Well, the first set is usually pretty good, before people are sloppy drunk and worthless–such is especially true if the place serves food. The money’s usually good. Sometimes you meet people who genuinely appreciate what you do–though that’s getting rarer. Once in a while, you gain a fan who comes to see you again–that’s pretty cool. …and yes, those FEW positives outweigh the negatives.

I still want to punch the guy from tonight that fit most of the description for #2, though…

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3 thoughts on “Stuff I hate about playing in bars…”

  1. Yeah, I miss playing in a blues bar band — this is going back to college days. The positives outweigh the negatives, but… not by all that much.

  2. Yeah, it’s a slim margin sometimes… When it works, though, you forget about how much it can suck.

    …and the extra cash is a BIG blessing.

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